The life of an executive is a series of ever-morphing challenges. While some are invigorating, others can be quite stressful. As a member of an underrepresented group in a company your challenges can be even greater.
You may find yourself one of very few members of your underrepresented group in the company. Or you may be the only one. This can feel very isolating. You may also have experiences that are similar to these:
- You feel like an impostor. There may be an undercurrent of messages that you are getting promoted solely for being a member of a minority group and not due to merit. It’s hard not to let these messages seep into your own mind where you begin to believe them.
- You have a unique world view due to a life experience that may have been very different from the majority group. It is difficult to know how to have your view heard and counted when others have not shared your experiences.
- You feel uncomfortable with comments you hear that are subtly or maybe overtly offensive to underrepresented groups. How can you express the issue without further alienating yourself?
- You are experiencing a high amount of stress and/or anxiety due to the burden of constantly striving to prove yourself as competent and deserving of your position in the company.